I have a passion for God and a passion for what God is doing with the small group(s) I'm leading/guiding and a passion for God to save the people I talk to. God has been leading me in new ways, and I have been listening in new ways. I just came back from a great weekend where God was so clearly present and working through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, through the body of Christ gathered together, learning together, worshiping together.
And yet it is so hard for me to have faith in my chapter of Intervarsity. It is so hard for me to expect that I can receive or give anything at the large group gatherings. Why do I go to them? Is is routine? others' expectations? a sense of higher obligation? I can't say. Surely it's some combination of those, and other factors I can't really pin down. But as I have been freed, subtly and gradually, from the crushing sense of duty that circumscribes my actions so often, I have come to see how little I believe in the large group meetings. The fact is, I don't trust them. I don't trust that I will meet God there, I don't trust that the teaching there will be sound, I don't trust that I will even have meaningful interactions with people there.
I persist in believing and proclaiming that it is good to go there, and yet I can't say what I am so sure is good about it. Going to IV large group is an obligation for me. It is the Law: fellowship and corporate worship are good. But the Law is a burden, producing fatigue and resentment. I am not under the Law but under the Spirit, and yet the Spirit certainly has not transformed my attitudes and feelings in this area.
I used to feel that large group was good and enjoyable and that I learned things there. Now I am disenchanted with it and I can't really pin down why. I am afraid of the crowd of people, afraid of not knowing my place, afraid of judgment. And so I am afraid to give, lest everything be taken from me, and I don't even want to pray for God's blessing on the fellowship because I can't find it in myself to believe that He is present there.
Yet I know God is present, and I know He works there. I can't find it in myself, but all things are found in God. Help Thou my unbelief. Lord, teach us to pray.